The only link thatíll actually work is this one (back to the original article) Ė Iím much too lazy to correct the references. Sorry about the fonts looking bad Ė trust me, it looks good in the first version!
CMLL TOP 25 - Fall '02
by Joe Gange and the Cubs Fan
"Not another wrestling list!" you yell. "Why?"
Short answer: Why not?
Slightly longer, less smart-ass answer: Back in May when the DVDVR guys released their 500 list, on the lucha message board Cubs listed his top 25 CMLL workers. I chimed in with my own list, as did a few other folks.
Now for November, I figured, why not put Cubs and mine collective heads together and came up with the CMLL 25 over a few e-mails and one big AIM session.
A few things to keep in mind:
- We didn't come up with set criteria for judging, but this is basically a list of the 25 best wrestlers in CMLL. We judged mostly based on ringwork, but since it can be hard to judge talent in trios matches, we also threw in intangibles (such as how often you were on TV, who you faced as regular opponents, and how effective you were playing tecnico or rudo). Why tried to list our rationale as best we could, along with key matches during the period.
- The list is based ONLY on CMLL weekly television. If great matches happened on CMLL PPV, or in IWRG, Monterrey, Tijuana, Japan, or American indies, they don't count.
- The list covers from 5/1/02 to 11/1/02.
Now, without further adoÖ
1. Ultimo Guerrero
Why This High: The easy choice for #1. The (slightly) better half of the best tag team on the planet. Had the big time title matches (vs. Santo/Casas, Halloween/Damien, & Shocker/Vampiro), but beyond that displayed a general level of excellence in all his bouts. A rudo's rudo when it comes to cheating like a bastard as well as making his opponents look like a million bucks.
Key Matches (listed by air date): 07/20 w/Ultimo vs. FdT [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 09/28 w/Ultimo vs. Shocker/Vampiro [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 06/15 w/Ultimo vs. Santo/Casas [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 09/14 vs. Vampiro.
2. Rey Bucanero
Why This High: Consistent great matches, half of the best tag team.
Why Not Higher: Ultimo's given slightly more credit for the team, and is a slightly stronger personality. Waiting for a really good singles matches to force us to make a change.
Key Matches: 07/20 w/Ultimo vs. FdT [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 09/28 w/Ultimo vs. Shocker/Vampiro [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 06/15 w/Ultimo vs. Santo/Casas [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 06/01 w/Ultimo, Tarzan vs. Santo/Casas/Niebla.
Why This High: Most charismatic performer in CMLL. Lots of great performances, but really stepped it up for big time matches like the hair match vs. Masada/Nosawa and the tag title match vs. the GdI.
Why Not Higher: No big singles matches in the voting period. Hasn't appeared in the ring since the tag title match, opting to play Al Snow for Guapo Tough Enough.
Key Matches: 06/15 w/Mascara Magica vs. Takemura/Masada [Hair vs. Hair], 06/22 w/Santo/Mascara vs. GdI, 09/28 w/Vampiro vs. Rey/Ultimo [CMLL Tag Team Titles].
4. El Hijo Del Santo
Why This High: He's Santo. If that wasn't enough, he's also very good at what he does.
Why Not Higher: Just hasn't been on TV all that much - only a few matches in this time period.
Key Matches: 06/15 w/Casas vs. GdI [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 06/01 w/Casas/Niebla vs. GdI, 06/22 w/Shocker/Magica vs. GdI.
5. Black Tiger
Why This High: Consistently great in the ring. Best gimmick in CMLL. Looked good in the Mexico vs. Japan feud.
Why Not Higher: No match he was in was really must-see.
Key Matches: 06/29 w/Nosawa/Masada vs. Atlantis/Warrior/Niebla, 08/17 vs. Felino, 10/27 w/Rey/Ultimo vs. Vamp/Niebla/Lizmark, 08/24 w/Wagner/Takemura vs. Shocker/Vamp/Mascara.
Why This High: He's been having very good matches since coming back. Looked like a monster in the ring without dressing like one anymore.
Why Not Higher: The guys ahead of him are really good. Only around for the second half of the time period, will likely move up with more time. Had the advantage of fueding with really good people.
Key Matches: 09/28 w/Shocker vs. GdI [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 07/27 w/Niebla, Lizmark vs. FdT, 09/21 w/Lizmark, Shocker vs. Panther/GdI, 08/24 w/Shocker, Magica vs. Wagner/Tiger/Takemura.
7. Tarzan Boy
Why This High: Third member of the GdI has great ring skills and will likely only get better. Recently won Negro Casas' hair in a red-hot feud. Possesses the best facial expressions in all of lucha.
Why Not Higher: Missed a lot of time due to knee problems. Barely seen since he won Casas' hair.
Key Matches: 06/29 w/Rey/Ultimo vs. Negro/Magica/Shocker, 08/03 w/Rey/Ultimo vs. Vampiro/Shocker/Casas, 09/14 w/Wagner/Rey vs. Niebla/Atlantis/Casas.
Why This High: He punches very well. Sells the action great. Very evil, when the situation arises.
Why Not Higher: Spoardic apperances, lack of a really great match.
Key Matches: 10/12 w/Infernales vs. FdT [Mexican Trios Titles], 08/10 Legend of the Silver Mask Cibernetico, 05/04 w/Shocker/Magica vs. GdI, 08/31 w/FDT vs Atlantis/Niebla/Warrior/Felino.
9. Negro Casas
Why This High: Looks revitalized and really busted his ass to have some great matches. Unafraid to boot you right in the face. Had hot feuds with the GdI and Tarzan Boy.
Why Not Higher: As good as he was, he wasn't better than the eight guys above him.
Key Matches: 06/15 w/Santo vs. Rey/Ultimo [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 09/03 w/Shocker/Vampiro vs. GdI, 09/14 w/Niebla/Atlantis vs. Rey/Tarzan/Wagner.
10. Dr. Wagner Jr.
Why This High: Capable of putting on a top notch match every time he's in the ring (and working with some decent people.) Cool mask. Cool pose.
Why Not Higher: Too many matches comedy/forumla matches where it feels like he's just going through the motions. Poor variety of opponents - often faces guys that hurt the chances of good matches to start.
Key Matches: 08/24 w/Tiger/Takemura vs. Shocker/Magica/Vampiro, 06/01 vs. Nishimura, 10/12 w/Dantes/Tiger vs Vampiro/Atlantis/Mascaras.
11. Nicho el Millionario
Why This High: Invaded the company with sleazeball cohorts Halloween and Damien 666. The biggest bumper in CMLL isn't afraid to land on his head just for you. Great feud with Los Infernales over the Mexican Trios Titles.
Why Not Higher: Appearances were intermittent at best.
Key Matches: 07/27 w/Halloween/Damien vs. Niebla/Lizmark/Vampiro, 08/31 w/Halloween/Damien/Satanico vs. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Felino/Niebla.
Why This High: Surprisingly good matches - look good versus the Infernales, and looked great against Rey and Ultimo. Frequent good performances.
Why Not Higher: Only a couple quick runs on TV, followed by the knee injury to sideline him.
Key Matches: 07/20 w/Damien vs. GdI [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 07/27 w/FdT vs. Niebla/Lizmark/Vampiro, 10/12 w/FdT vs. Infernales [Mexican Trios Titles].
13. Mr. Niebla
Why This High: Chubbed-out tecnico is surprisingly adept at high flying and always fun to watch. Wacky dancing helps distinguish him from other tecnicos. Nelbina is the goofiest/coolest submission in CMLL.
Why Not Higher: No high profile feuds or matches of his own.
Key Matches: 06/29 w/Atlantis/Warrior vs. Tiger/Nosawa/Masada, 07/27 w/Lizmark/Vampiro vs. FdT, 08/31 w/Atlantis/Felino/Warrior vs. Satanico/FdT, 10/27 Vampiro/Lizmark vs. Tiger/GdI.
14. Hombre sin Nombre
Why This High: Cool high spots with out blowing too many. Spectacular.
Why Not Higher: Restricted to rare appearances, slipped to only Spectacular Moments appearances often. Never got around to getting a name.
Key Matches: 08/10 Legend of the Silver Mask Cieberntico, 09/07 w/Felino/Niebla vs. Guerreras/Virus, various Spectacular Moments.
Why This High: Japanese rookie looked good in the Mexico vs. Japan feud and is one of the most improved wrestlers this year. We love the jumping koppo kick.
Why Not Higher: Not seen much since that feud, outside of Momentos Estelares.
Key Matches: 06/01 w/Panther/Masada vs. Shocker/Satanico/Mascara, 06/15 w/ Masada vs. Shocker/Mascara [Hair vs. Hair], 8/24 w/Wagner/Tiger vs. Vamp/Shocker/Mascara.
16. Mascara Magica
Why This High: Part of some good matches, solid wrestler, nice Spiderman tights, smart enough to hang around with Shocker.
Why Not Higher: Outside of the hair/hair match, has not proven himself to be an average guy who is just helped alot by facing and teaming with a high level of wrestlers. Disappeared when Shocker teamed with Vampiro.
Key Matches: 06/15 w/Shocker vs. Masada/Takemura [double hair vs. hair], 08/24 w/Shocker/Vampiro vs. Wagner/Takemura/Tiger, 06/29 w/Casas/Shocker vs. GdI.
17. Apolo Dantes
Why This High: The lucha equivalent of the utility infielder. Not flashy, but always contributes to a match.
Why Not Higher: Hanging out with Los Capos and being booked as the eternal nemesis of Gigante Silva won't do much for your good match output.
Key Matches: 07/20 w/Shocker/Mascara vs. Silva/Niebla, 08/17 w/Rey/Ultimo/Wagner vs. Giant Silva/Shocker/Rayo (two big carry jobs), 10/13 w/Tiger/Wagner vs. Vampiro/ Atlantis/Mil Mascaras.
Why This High: Fun stretch of matches during his turn, entertaining when on.
Why Not Higher: Back off TV after the turn for the most part. Or before it, for that matter.
Key Matches: 08/10 Legend of the Silver Mask Cibernetico, 09/14 vs. Fuerza, 09/07 w/Guerreras vs. HsN/Felino/Niebla.
19. Blue Panther
Why This High: Still a world-class technician and rudo. Got a lot of TV time teaming with Team Japan.
Why Not Higher: Outside those early appearances, was under the radar for the voting period. No really memorable or standout matches.
Key Matches: 05/11 w/Takemura/Masada/Juvi vs. Atlantis/Safari/Magica/Casas, 06/01 w/Takemura/Masada vs. Shocker/Satanico/Magica, 07/13 w/Nosawa/Masada vs. Shocker/Casas/Porky.
Why This High: Often involved in good matches, keeps his end of the deal. Does his trademarks moves very well.
Why Not Higher: Very confined to those few trademark moves - can't work a match without hitting them, doesn't do much else. Seems to be more a product of having matches with good people than being good himself.
Key Matches: 07/27 w/Niebla, Vampiro vs. FdT, 09/21 w/Shocker/Vampiro vs. Panther/GdI, 10/27 w/Vampiro, Niebla vs GdI.
Why This High: Fun to watch, strong personality in minor matches and highlights. Really cool when heís on TV.
Why Not Higher: Not on TV that much Ė till after the period, of course.
Key Matches: 08/24 w/Virus/Juvi vs. Casas/Safari/HsN, various Spectacular Moments
22. Damien 666
Why This High: Solid partner in La Familia de Tijuana Ė good teamwork, and keeps up with Nicho and Halloween.
Why Not Higher: Overshadowed by his partners, didnít do anything to break that image in solo action.
Key Matches: 07/20 w/Halloween vs. GdI [CMLL Tag Team Titles], 07/27 w/FdT vs. Niebla/Lizmark/Vampiro, 10/12 FdT vs. Infernales [Mexican Trios Titles].
Why This High: Excels in trios matches. Has a nice array of crazy highspots.
Why Not Higher: Blah match with Black Tiger in semis of Silver Mask tournament, really bad match with Black Warrior in finals. If you can't have a killer singles match with Silver freaking King, you ain't cracking the top 20.
Key Matches: 08/10 Legend of the Silver Mask Cibernetico, 08/17 vs. Black Tiger, 08/24 vs. Black Warrior, 08/31 w/ Atlantis/Black Warrior/Niebla vs. FdT/Satanico.
24. Black Warrior
Why This High: Some really flashy moves - the swinging DDT and the bullet tope.
Why Not Higher: The really bad match with Felino in the Legend of the Silver Mask tournament, and for not doing much memorable lately.
Key Matches: 08/24 vs. Felino, 06/29 w/Atlantis/Niebla vs. Tiger/Nosawa/Masada.
Why This High: Great tecnico, very efficient in the ring.
Why Not Higher: A low-key period. Mostly played clean up when he tagged with Rayo de Jalisco Jr.
Key Matches: 05/22 w/Rayo De Jalisco Jr./Warrior vs. Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Buccanero/Cien Caras, 06/22 Atlantis, Mr. Niebla, Black Warrior vs. Dr. Wagner, Fuerza Guerrera, Blue Panther; 06/29 w/Warrior/Niebla vs. Tiger/Nosawa/Masada.
Close: Olimpico, Averno, Ricky Marvin, Safari, Mephisto
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